Following the public outcry against AirAsia and its many delayed and rescheduled flights, the Ministry of Transport has issued a statement regarding the matter. Said statement serves to both explain the situation regarding the many delays, while also instructing the “airlines involved” to rectify the issues immediately.
On the former, the MOT statement claims that the complaints can mostly be attributed to “higher-than usual” passenger traffic during the festive season. It goes on to say that this caused airlines to have to fully utilise the entire fleet, and implied that aircraft that faced technical issues were being taken out of service for maintenance were the reason for the flight backlog”.
MENTERI PENGANGKUTAN MALAYSIA
ISU TEKNIKAL KAPAL TERBANG DIPERBAIKI pic.twitter.com/m6T64MYT7V
— M.O.T Malaysia (@MOTMalaysia) May 10, 2022
The MOT statement goes on to say that complaints regarding the rescheduling have been rectified and put back on track. Naturally, the ministry will continue to monitor the situation. The statement also goes on to say that “authorities have reprimanded parties involved” but did not disclose any form of penalties or repercussions otherwise that said parties faced.
Meanwhile, Minister of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Alexander Nanta Linggi also states that he has asked AirAsia to provide a flow chart showing the procedure for filing a formal complaint and compensation. He has also asked the MOT and Malaysian Aviation Commission (MAVCOM) to be more proactive and to come up with a solution for this issue. And finally, he ends his statement by saying that AirAsia will be providing feedback on issues faced by consumers through his ministry (KPDNHEP) within 24 hours.
Tiada ‘sembang kari’, cakap tak serupa bikin, ‘siasat dan siasat’ atau sekadar berpeluk tubuh dalam isu ini. Kepentingan pengguna adalah amanah saya sebagai menteri KPDNHEP.
— Alexander Nanta Linggi (@AlexNantaLinggi) May 10, 2022
Alexander makes strong claims about there being no idle chatter, conducting investigation upon investigation, or simply doing nothing regarding this issue. But ultimately, it still remains to be seen if anything will come of these two statements by the two ministries.
It’s probably worth mentioning that, while not on the scale of AirAsia, it’s not the only airline to have suffered from consecutive delays. Our own Heirul Kamel has experienced two delays each trip – to and from his hometown of Kuching, Sarawak – via Batik Air (formerly Malindo Air). These were due to “operational requirements”, which were the only explanation provided to him, via email and SMS.
Since the publishing of these statements, Riad Asmat, CEO of AirAsia Malaysia has apologised to customers for the flight disruptions. As per the MOT statement, Riad mentions the high number of passengers during the Raya period.
Meanwhile, a Malaysia Airlines spokesperson has also apologised for complications regarding the flight MH2719 from Kuala Lumpur to Sandakan, Sabah. More specifically, the flight had technical issues, which caused the air conditioning being non-functioning while it was being repaired.